Eighth Inning Dooms Sox, Prevents Sweep

(SN Report #536) - Bartolo Colon battled for seven innings, surprisingly allowing no runs and three hits, leaving with a 1-0 lead. But lefty reliever Damaso Marte couldn't hold it, giving up two runs in the eighth as the White Sox failed to sweep the Cubs, losing 2-1.

After a five-inning, shutout pitching duel between Colon and Cubs' starter Carlos Zambrano, the White Sox finally took the lead with a sixth-inning RBI-sacrifice by Miguel Olivo, scoring Jose Valentin. Valentin doubled to start the inning before advancing to third on a groundout to first by Joe Crede.

Both teams had their chances to score before hand, leaving a combined 12 men on base total.

The Sox failed to score with the bases-loaded and two outs in the second; with two men on and one out in the third; and with two men on and two outs in the fifth.

The Cubs stranded two men on in both the second and third innings.

Colon's last inning appeared to be the main reason, along with fatigue, for his departure as two men reached base before the inning ended on a sharply hit groundball double play up the middle to D'Angelo Jimenez. Jimenez back-handed the ball, tagged second for the force and threw to first for the final out.

Both hits in the inning came on groundballs to the left side. The first was hit hard, taking a bad bounce for Crede at third. The second was hit deep in the hole to Valentin, who ranged quick to his right, but was unable to make the clean transfer and throw.

The Cubs' eighth started with pinch-hitter Troy O'Leary grounding out to Marte and continued with a single by Mark Grudzielanek.

Then came the play of the game, which didn't turn out well for the Sox. With Grudzielanek on first, Ramon Martinez hit a double, splitting Carlos Lee and Willie Harris in the left-center. Lee then recovered the ball and threw to Valentin who made a next-to-perfect throw at home, however, it was a split-second late as Grudzielanek was safe with a head-first slide.

Corey Patterson then singled in the go-ahead run, Martinez, from third. Joe Borowski pitched the ninth, recording his 15th save.

Harris and Valentin each had two hits in the game, while Jimenez continued his recent slide, going 0-3. He is 3-29 in his last nine games and is batting just .182 in the month of June.

The Sox will have Monday off before starting a big three-game series against the Twins in Minnesota on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. CT. Esteban Loaiza is scheduled to pitch against Rick Reed. The game will be televised on WCIU.

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